The Portuguese School of Commerce, 1759-1844: A reflection of the "Enlightenment"

Lucia Lima Rodrigues, Delfina Gomes, Russell Craig*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper introduces to the English-language literature the Aula do Comercio (School of Commerce) which was established in Lisbon in 1759. This school was a product of the Portuguese Enlightenment period and provided a model for development of similar government-sponsored schools across Europe. Our principal objective is to provide a comprehensive description of the school by outlining why it was established, how it operated, what it taught, what effects it had, and why it closed in 1844. It is important to gain an understanding of the School of Commerce because it was an important milestone in the development of commercial education in eighteenth century Europe. The School has attracted considerable notoriety, especially in the Portuguese-language literature, where it is claimed to be the world's first government- sponsored school to specialise in the teaching of commerce, including accounting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-71
    Number of pages19
    JournalAccounting History
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


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